overview of how to
Help Yourself To Read and Spell
or find out where you got stuck
22 quick lessons that can be downloaded and printed out
Lessons in 24 pages,
plus a description of the self-help project
Latest edition 2006
Anyone can down-load, use, and improve upon the material here, but not commercially. Creative Commons copyright Valerie Yule
This creation is for the benefit of the community of scholars everywhere
"If it is in line with
current thinking, it is not an innovation"
What's new about this overview of 'help yourself to read' in 21 simple pages,
and the concept of the Literacy
CARTOON OVERVIEW OF THE ENGLISH WRITING SYSTEM IN HALF AN HOUR,
with animated text to link speech and print.
'Advance organisers' show what is ahead.
You do not have to understand each page before
you go on.
Go right through the lessons as an over-view.
Then go back to check what you did not understand. Ask
a friend to read what you cannot read yet on these
In the video you can hear what you cannot read
Look at the book or video again and again; as it
unpacks it becomes easier and easier. 'One simple way to
learn a hundred things' rather than 'a hundred
forgettable ways to learn one thing'.
You find out what you need to know and
where your confusions are.
You can ask friends or teachers to read the
words. You find out where you need their help. You ask
the questions. Not the other way around. Watch the video,
use the book as you like, in your own way, for your own
needs. People who can't go to classes can make a start at
how adults learn -
by understanding and direct practice of the task in hand.
The overview gives adults and teenagers
'top-down' understanding and 'bottom-up' learning, with
'chunking' and 'network' that unpacks with re-watching,
for faster and easier learning. Beginners and children
can also enjoy it and learn from it, to prevent failure.
So many older learners have simple gaps and confusions that no-one has realised - such as 'Only 26
letters! I thought there were thousands!'
Not 'more of the same thing' for those who reject or have been failed by
It aims to 'make print interesting'
with 'practice on print' reading books.
No clerical activities or contrived fun
to divert, diffuse or confuse away from the main
teaching points. The learning itself aims to be
pleasurable and interesting. Practise how to read and
spell by reading print, rather than by games or exercises
on computers or work-sheets.
Making print interesting
Designed to draw attention to the detail of
words and pictures, and make it easy to remember teaching
points. That is, learn to read accurately and fast - and
not skim and guess with no means of correcting errors.
About the Web-page lessons, the comic book and the self-help cartoon
The Web Pages and comic book are also handbooks
and prospectuses for the half-finished video 'ABC GO! Help
yourself to read and spell - or find out where you got
stuck' ©. The video is surprising, entertaining, also
emphasises understanding, and can be used as and when the
viewer desires. You can sit in an armchair to watch -
rather than sitting up at a computer screen. The computer
grafics simplify complex material. The aim is to be
intrinsically fascinating and to win awards as an
art-form of high quality. Literacy learners should have
the very best that artists and producers can do.
The 'half-hour' overview of what it helps to know to learn to
read and spell.
The comic-book and video show in a simple grafic
way: how to hear sounds in words, the alphabet, with
letters and their usual sounds, how letters make words,
spelling 19 basic English vowel sounds, how to cope with
hard spelling and why it is difficult, Old English,
French, Greek and Latin spellings in English words,
taking long words to bits and working out their meanings,
using many strategies in reading for meaning, and
becoming skilled readers by practice, and re-reading what you
like again and again. A 26-item check-list marks what you
knew already and what you find out. Everyone learns
something, including learners of spoken English.
(Appendix) All the common and less common ways that vowel
sounds are spelled.
- Learners can find out themselves where
they need more help from tutors. This can
encourage the disaffected to come to courses,
as they gain enough baseline confidence about
what they do know, and know what they still
need to know.
- Market research with the experimental
video showed the potential market for it in
local libraries, video-libraries, bookshops,
and adult literacy courses.
- A half-hour video is 'low technology'
that is more accessible for many low-literacy
people than computers. It is re-usable and it
is cheap - retail price estimate at $30 + GST
for the video, $35 + GST for a kit with
- Everyone completing the checklist with or
without aid has learnt something. (Findings
- It is entertaining and enjoyable, to
watch for pleasure. All the entertainment is
intrinsic to the learning, not added like
jam. The format is lively, humorous and
direct. It looks very simple - as it is
intended to look, - because it makes the most
of the value of cartoons. Adults enjoy
and the Simpsons
as well as children - there are
some universals in these types of simple but
not childish cartoons.
- It is only half-an-hour, which is not
'too long', and can be watched piecemeal.
Unlike 'one-off' TV, it is an overview that
is to be watched several times, to unpack and
take in the detail and become familiar with
- Its cognitive approach means that the
content is for understanding, not rote
learning. This makes it extremely useful as a
preliminary for classes. Its manuals are for
use in closer study.
- It is an Australian innovation, and has
export potential - as indicated by the export
successes of the UK and NZ children's
- A major aim is first class quality -
able to 'win an award at Cannes' as a valid
work of art in its own right.
- It seeks to encourage others to
investigate and produce half-hour video
overviews targeted to the many possible
potential specialised markets, so that the
most effective can be promoted.
Status of the Video Project
For details and basis in research see
Video for Adult
(1996) UN International Review of Education,
42.1-3,1, 87-203. Following a 1984 pilot version in UK, a
1993 experimental version has been evaluated, as the basis
for the present updated storyboard and new screen versions,
Experimental Version 12/ Completion of a version that
could 'win a prize at Cannes' only needs finance, a producer
and skilled artists. Here is an effective, inexpensive and
simple starter and remedial aid not requiring costly
technology, that can also expand into CD, DVD, TV series,
and innovative books 'making print interesting'. Versions
can be made and trialed for different target users and
markets, including indigenous,
© ) and overseas export.
THE VALUE of cheap home-learning by cartoon video
as a literacy aid is vastly under-estimated, with the rush
to more complex and expensive technology and multimedia. Now
UK and NZ research proves the dramatic value of two quality
cartoon literacy videos for children. We need a quality
video for adults and teenagers, for home and distance
learning, here and for overseas export. This inexpensive
innovation deserves investigation and testing. It is still
unique in the world as an aid to learn to read in
Valerie Yule, 57 Waimarie Drive, Mount Waverley,
Victoria, Australia 3149
Tel (03) 9807-4315. URL
The video is NOT suitable to be viewed in groups or
classes, except for 8-9 year-olds. Even literate adults
watching it in groups attend more to form than to
METHOD. As with
the trial versions, the technical production, dubbing and
first distribution are to be followed by evaluations.
This has been thoroughly investigated and an
80-page bibliography is available, including my personal
experimental research and publications.
the years of preparation I have consulted with many
educators and media producers here and in UK, through
personal contact, conferences and correspondence. (A
short list available)
video-kit for distribution for home and export markets,
and the outcomes of the evaluations that can be of use
for adult literacy.
STRATEGY . It is hoped to find a central
source for distribution, that could be listed on OzIdeas